Captured leopard gets new home

Bosky Khanna Bengaluru, Feb 9 ,2016, DHNS:

Captured leopard gets new home

The eight-year-old male leopard which was captured after a nine-hour operation on Sunday evening will be rehabilitated at the Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) Rescue Centre.

The wild animal had strayed into the Vibgyor School in Varthur early Sunday morning. “Going by the poor health condition of the leopard, we have decided to house it at BBP as it cannot be released into the wild,” said Ravi Ralph, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife).

According to veterinarians and park officials, the upper left canine of the leopard was missing. This could be the reason why the leopard made its way to urban areas in search of easy prey. The leopard also suffers from Glaucoma in one eye.

With this new arrival, the leopard count at BBP has increased to 35 from 34, of which 17 are males. At any given time 20 leopards will be at the rescue centre and another 14 in the zoo. These 14 are born in captivity and, thus, kept on display for visitors. The 20 rescued from various conflict areas are  not shown to people in accordance with Ministry of Environment and Forests rules.

In view of the increasing number of leopards, the department is pressing for a dedicated leopard safari as the facilities and space would increase.

BBP Executive Director Santosh Kumar said the number of leopards at BBP are increasing and could further go up in the coming days because of their habitat shrinking due to urbanisation and the resultant man-animal conflicts. It is the same scenario all over the country as leopards roam on the fringes of forests and get involved in conflicts with humans.

Hence, the need to expand facilities and create a dedicated leopard safari soon. The department had drawn a Rs 500-crore proposal which is now before the Public Works Department  for clearance.

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